Dakhla & England Shenanigans

April, 2015   //   by Chase Hasch   

chase hasch flight-map Cabarete NewYork Casablanca London

The Dakhla VKWC (Virgin Kite World Championships) Adventure started with a flight to JFK to pick up my new Cabrinha Ace and H3 boots. A big “THANK YOU” for the personal delivery from Marietta from the NY Kite Center – I got my gear with no stress and made my flight to Casablanca.

chase-hasch and marietta ny-kite center

Once in the Casablanca airport I saw that my flight to Dakhla was already boarding. One of the airport employees sprinted me through what must have been the whole airport that may have been designed by MC Escher. As I was completely lost we came to a door, that opened to a tiny security checkpoint as I walked through I saw the last three people in line to board the flight to Dakhla.

The flight was only an hour and a half. After arriving, I was getting excited to see the spot! I didn’t realize that the hotel was another an hour away from the airport. While driving through Dakhla it was cool to see people driving around on little motorbikes like we have in Cabarete. I was quite surprised by how many basketball, tennis, and soccer courts there were, just about every block. Finally after driving through the desert for a good long while we rolled up to this sick place. The first thing I noticed is that it was nuking! I couldn’t wait to go for a session and that was the first thing I did!

chase hasch vkwc pkra dakhla cabrinha

After kiting I went to go find out which room I was staying in turned out I was in the windhunter camp which is like a quarter mile away from the reception. After walking for a while and feeling like I was going in the wrong direction I saw a few tiny houses made of sand and clay. They were clean and had hot water so I was happy. And decided it was a fine place to sleep. Later that day I went down for dinner and really didn’t see that many riders.

The next day quite a few people showed up and the mood became much more fun. I noticed that there was a cable but you had to pay so it was a good thing there was wind from the time that you wake up to the time that you go to sleep.

I spent the next few days before the competition kiting and getting to know people as they arrived. On the first day they ran the wave trials and most of the freestyle guys went down to the “Speed Spot.” The locals said it was a super good flat spot that works when the tide is low. I didn’t realize how sick of a spot it was, until I got down there. 7 minutes of walking down wind to get there and then I saw that the sandbar was perfectly lined up with the wind to give you the best flatwater possible. I had a great time in the flat water and was super stoked when a tractor came to take us back upwind to the hotel. I was not expecting the food to be good from what people had told me, but it was a really nice surprise when the food was tasty and didn’t make you sick.

dakhla chase hasch vkwc

After the first day of trials there was no wind for four days. On the second day I learned that the cable was free for competitors and I session’ed it quite a bit until I hurt my leg. Knowing that I might need to compete any day, I took a break from the cable for a few days. On the fourth day the wind was super light but it was doable so they ran 8 heats I was in the 9th. They started my heat and I was stoked I had a 13 meter Contra. I was riding pretty good, unfortunately, the other guys on their 15 meter C kites couldn’t compete so after waiting maybe 15 minutes my heat got postponed until the next day.

The next day the wind was still light but coming up. I wasn’t happy to be in the first heat with all the waiting for the wind to pick up, the good thing was that they didn’t start the heat until it was good to ride. I still had a 13 contra and once my heat started I felt great. I was having tons of fun and had enough power to do my tricks. After the heat I felt really good and that I’d done the best that the conditions allowed. I had to wait for maybe 40 minutes to get the results. I ended up getting 1st and moving to the 3rd round. I spent the next 2 days just hanging out kiting at the speed spot when the tide went down and just enjoying myself.

chase hasch winning vkwc daklah

My next heat was one of the last in the 3rd round and I was not looking forward to it. The day before the wind had started to go back up to its normal 30 knots and today it was definitely stronger than normal. I had hoped that the wind would go down later in the day, but I was wrong. My heat was against Seb Garat and I was so powered on my 7 meter that I could hardly unhook. I was struggling to ride well and Garat was making his tricks look easy. Still I landed some good stuff but I wouldnt say any of them were landed perfectly and in the end I lost.

The day after my heat they started the main wave event as it was supposed to be the last day that the waves would be good. I wasn’t happy to be out of the event but now I could cable every day ride as hard as I wanted and push myself. With all of the gnarly good riders it wasn’t hard to find motivation on the water and riding on my 7 or super lit on my 9 was a nice change to always trying to get speed on my 11 back home. I had never been some where that when you wake up its windy and it just gets stronger and stronger as the day goes on and then you can night kite every night if you’re brave enough to go in the cold water and wind. Needles to say I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the water for my last few days.

chase hasch poolside vkwc

On my second to last day the wind was blowing pretty good and I should have been on a 7, but since I was at the speed spot and it was pretty far away I just stayed on my 9. I got the worst back edge ever. It pulled me out of my boots easily and left me gasping for air and hardly able to move. I floated on my back for a good minute until I launched my kite and body dragged for my board when I tried to get up on my board I realized that I’d hurt my right foot pretty bad and that it couldn’t take any weight. I sat on the beach until I saw the tractor coming and one of the hotel guests helped me pack up my gear and load it up. Thankfully, I had some friends willing to just chill and do nothing for the rest of the evening. The next day I took my time packing and had a really chill day taking it easy on my foot. Later that day I got on the plane with a few other people from the hotel, one of them was Mark Toth who shared his hotel once we got to Casablanca and I had a 14 hour layover and he had 13 hours.

It was great to get to sleep in a bed instead of the airport. I got on a flight to England to meet up with one of my good friends Rob Woodford who had left Cabarete a little bit after I had left to Morocco. I showed up at Gatwick airport and at the passport check the guy asked me a ton of questions because I didn’t have Robs address I told the guy repeatedly that I had complete faith that my friend would show up and he grudgingly let me through. After getting my bag and walking to the exit I could already see him through the glass. On the way to his place we got stuck in traffic and had plenty of time to laugh about what I would have done if he hadn’t showed. Once we got to his farm he showed me his car garage and treated me to some english tea. After tea we went to the house so I could get clean and meet his parents. His mom was super nice and offered me some food and even washed my clothes! While checking out the house I saw that his mom was into the same kind of reading that I was so I had a good time picking out a book for while I was there.

chase hasch england countryside

After cleaning up we went to the garage so that Rob could see about getting his drift car running. I split my time between reading and helping out a bit with the car. Robs friend will was also in the garage most of the time working on his car. I didn’t do much in England but I had a hurt foot and wasn’t super eager to go kite in the freezing water. I was only there for four days but Rob got his car running and on my last full night Rob and Paul who came to the DR for Punta Cana kite fest showed me around London on bikes. In two and a half hours we went to the Tower bridge, The Shard, Hms Belfast, The London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster abbey, Buckingham Palace, Camden Lock, St. Pauls Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, and my favorite the Tower of London.On the way back to catch the train Paul was really worried that we wouldn’t make it. It was a sick trip and even though it was pretty cold the whole time it was awesome.

Kites & Boards by:

Chase Hasch Cabrinha Kites

 

Harness & Wetsuit by:

Chase Hasch NP Harness and Wetsuits

 

Cardio and Fitness by:

Chase Hasch Cardio and Fitness

 

Fueled by:

Chase Hasch Gorditos Cabarete Dominican Republic

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

Chase Hasch Vasayo

 


Beach Kudos:

Chase Hasch and Susi Mai

 


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